2019 marks almost a decade since The Rx Review was found. Since then, the website has reviewed dozens and dozens of CrossFit and functional fitness items, providing a wealth of info for fitness enthusiasts across the world.
Since the boom of the internet, review sites have been a great way for people to find out more about items and services before forking out money on them. yet, at the same time, you have to wade through pages of results in a search engine, many of which are saying exactly the same thing (often quite literally).
People have also learnt the system a bit better, and realise that many reviews aren’t from genuine users, but have been bought and paid for by the seller. The other problem is that you need to know what you’re looking for in the first place. The right keywords to use to get the results you want, and then you need to look through hundreds (sometimes thousands) of products, and their reviews, to find the one item you want to buy.
This might be economically worthwhile if you are looking at investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into a brand new gym, but less helpful if you really just want to make sure that the hook you put into your wall is going to be able to hold the weight of the picture you’re hanging.
there are sites for everything these days. The Rx Review for CrossFit and functional fitness products. Tripadvisor for travel reviews. And sites like OfficialTop5Review.com are great for looking at actual products and services.
But when you’re looking at review sites what things do you need to be aware of to make sure that you are getting the best advice?
1. Follow the Money
The internet is full of people who want to get rich quick. So when you’re looking at product reviews, whether on a website, Facebook or Instagram, think about who is getting paid. You’re more likely to get an honest review from someone who has a disclaimer about what their relationship with the company is, and what their review policy is.
Social Media influencers often get free products or even payment for positive promotion of a product or service. Generally, a review website will state when they have received a product from a company to review. This doesn’t mean that the review is not honest! Giving a reviewer a product in no way guarantees a positive review. In fact, sometimes a negative review can work in the manufactures favour if the review is well written and goes viral. For the record, The Rx Review does not accept any payment for reviews, and is often sent items to test out. All reviews though are independant and free from any client/seller bias.
2. Is it Niche?
There are positives and negatives from a niche market review site. On the upside, if you are on a site, for example, that specialises in the wide range of timber screws on the market, they talk about everything from internal wall screws to exterior roofing screws, you are absolutely going to be reading reviews from someone who really, really, knows their stuff. However, you are also reading reviews from someone who probably has close ties within the industry and may have been sucked in to any politics that are in play (examples of this happen in the literary world on a regular basis).
If you are looking at a site that focuses more on top products in a wide variety of areas, you might not be getting an in-depth ‘expert’ opinion. But you are more likely to get an honest review, free from any industry bias.
3. Pros and Cons
We all love a TLDR (too long, didn’t read); and this is where a good pros and cons section comes in really handy. You want to be able to have a quick overview in order to compare the products that have caught your eye before you then go and read a more in-depth report. Sometimes you can find sites with filtering options, but as a general rule they don’t ever seem to be filtering on the options that you actually want. Whether a product is black or white usually isn’t as important as what size it’s available in.
4. So Many Products
What is the point in going to a review site if you then have to read through hundreds of reviews? Even if they are all formatted in the same way and easy to read, you really only care about relevant products. For example, reviewing cosmetic items on a fitness website isn’t exactly targeting your audience. Also, reviewing two items from different brands that are virtually identical is also just cluttering up a site’s content. it’s important for review sites to focus on fewer in-depth, accurate and informative reviews, then many poorly written ones. Quality over quantity!
5. Make It Easy To Buy
They don’t have to link directly to a sales page, but it is helpful if the review site can link to a page that gives more options to either purchase the product/service, or a direct link to the manufacturing page so that you can find out more information about the product. If they do link to an option to purchase, check to see if the reviewer will make a commission or has another reason to recommend buying via the offered link.
In an ideal world, a nicely set out review site will make your life easier, not harder, and help you make a decision without having to spend hours and hours doing the independent research yourself.